Guardians of The Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1

Soundtrack Week (revisited)

So this Summer there was this cool movie about outer space and it was pretty good. One of my favorite things about the movie was the element of revisiting of things from the past in a way that gives these seemingly old and outdated things new life. During the movie I couldn’t help thinking, “Is this what it was like watching Star Wars for the first time back when it first came out?” (and I’m sure plenty of people have very strong opinions on why it’s not, but that’s not what I’m worried about right now: don’t message me).

The “retro revisited” theme is most obviously visible (or audible) in the film’s soundtrack; a mix tape made by main character, Peter Quill/Star-Lord’s mom titled “Awesome Mix Vol. 1”. I’ll forgo spoilers and just say that the tape is very important in it’s own way. From start to finish, it’s a retro music extravaganza (as well as topping today’s digital music charts, as it should). 

It all makes me pretty happy and it’s not often that I get to see a movie that brings out such a childlike whimsy in me. Said childlike whimsy is usually overpowered by the part of me that likes to nitpick and be overly pedantic about details and language in movies, which is why I wrote this post praising the soundtrack and not this one from Slate which had to find something to be upset about [spoiler alert]. Yes, two of the soundtrack’s songs are not from the original mixtape. AND? Would you prefer we not have been given Dancing Baby Groot? Because if you do, we can’t be friends.

Max

(Source: Spotify)

Estelle - Conqueror

I lied. I said I was done with my Summer of She and yet here I am blasting Estelle for you guys. Now I stumbled upon this video courtesy of Palladia (who have not reached out to us about free sweaters in exchange for me praising them on our blog… I see how it is), and fell instantly in love. I haven’t kept up with Estelle since 2007 when she had one relatively popular song in the US featuring everyone’s (everyone’s) favorite hip-hop messiah, Yeezus, titled American Boy.

With this song, it’s not surprising that Kanye teamed up with her all those years ago. The song, a powerful ode to self-motivation (and hopefully not one about literally conquering places. Colonialism is bad, kids.), rises to it’s crescendoing chorus fairly quickly and decidedly stays there while you’re charging through that workout/studying for that Summer class final exam/working up the nerve to get out of that toxic relationship.  Whatever it is you need to get done, this song is sure to summon up at least a little of the gumption you need. Scott’s a jerk. Dump him already.

Max

Sheryl Crow - Soak Up The Sun

Summer is coming to an end but Summer music is forever. This week Hilary Duff released a new track and it honestly sounds a little anachronistic. It’s quintessentially Duff, but it’s the kind of song that might have been on one of her cd’s released in the early naughts but not as a single. Additionally, I caught up some more of Liz Phair’s early 90’s grunge girl rock (though I still love her foray into pop from 2003, no matter what Pitchfork says). To top off this week of femme-fueled Summer of '42 2014, I happened to stumble upon this gem from the past decade that I fondly remember playing in the background of my more mundane Summer moments but never paid any attention to. It’s getting to be that time, so enjoy what’s left of the season and, as Crow sings, soak up the Sun.

Max

Azealea Banks - Heavy Metal and Reflective

The Curious Case of Azealia Banks, A Soundboard File: Chapter 4. I think it’s been said several times over here on Soundboard, but we like Azalea Banks. But… we’re a little worried about her. And not in a patronizing way. She’s a big girl and she’s not exactly Amanda Bynes’ing her way to the bottom or anything, she just has a bad case of foot-in-mouth syndrome. No need to document all the cases of it here, that’s what Google is for. It just pains me to have championed her so long ago and not really be able to justify it anymore since her debut album, Broke With Expensive Taste, is still nowhere to be seen. In 2014. 2 years after we first said it would be arriving. Is it okay? Did it fall down a well? Maybe Banks Casey Anthony’d the album and we need Nancy Grace to help. Just kidding. I’d never ask Nancy Grace for help because then the situation would be Nancy Grace’d.

Regardless of the way Banks has Damon Baehrel’ed this album, she does come through with a few banging singles every few months (though, none of which rival her epic breakout single 212). So when I saw her drop Heavy Metal and Reflective today, I knew it was time to check in with miss Yung Rapunzel.

She could not be reached for comment. She’s… dodging** our calls.

**I couldn’t think of a pop culture figure who’s famous for avoiding things 

Max

Top Album Covers Week

Hey, chill cats. It’s Soundboard’s favorite late-nite BJ** is here with his Top Album Covers. Hang in tight, this one’s gonna be good. Or at least not-terrible.

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Duke Dumont - I Got You feat. Jax Jones

While the rest of the Soundboard team has been adventuring and having small scale meet-ups with one another (that were probably less seemingly catastrophic and cringey than #DashCon), I’ve been holding it down here in a dark room in Georgia by myself listening to BBC Radio 1 on TuneIn, which, I might add, is just as good as actually visiting London. Though that’s not the first time I’ve heard this song (I have Tumblr to thank for that, so… you know, thanks), it is where I’ve heard it many times more. From what I can tell, it’s not a popular track here in the States, but is getting lots of airplay in the land of SuperWhoLock.

So you know, give Duke Dumont some love, America! You can follow him on Twitter or see some concert pics or hear some track snippets on Instagram.

Max

Becky G - Shower

So I’ve been shamelessly blasting this on my commutes to & from work for the last few days. With a beat that blasts itself into your head with the driving force of the bass that takes over the final bridge and chorus, Shower is crazy infectious and seasonally appropriate tune (“You light me up inside, like the 4th of July”) that makes me believe Becky G is yet another name I’m sure is going to make a lasting impression on the pop world. The 17 year old artist can not only hold her own—also notable is a remix of Jennifer Lopez’s hit, appropriately retitled “Becky From The Block"—but to a degree, what she wants you to know is that when you hear Becky G spit, Becky G wrote it.

I know I’ve been leaning towards catchy pop tunes a lot, which is a symptom of a Summertime phenomenon I’ve described as “Seasonal Music Taste Disorder" where I suddenly indulge in way more classically saccharine pop music that usual. But hey, I don’t need to justify it because it’s really fun music and for a lot of us, that all we really want during the Summer. See you guys next week!

Max

Ryn Weaver - OctaHate

In the post-Garage Band era of the Internet blogosphere, debut digital single premiers are a dime a dozen and are rarely any true indication that an artist will make it in the industry. Last week, 24 year old newcomer Ryn Weaver uploaded OctaHate to soundcloud and despite being a practical nonentity on the scene did she got support from just about everyone who heard the song including Hayley Williams, Charlie XCX and Jessie Ware.

While it’s not shocking that the track is so good and has received the attention it has with production credits including Michael Angelakos from Passion Pit and rapper Benny Blanco, it is what I like to call a pleasant surprise. While many artists disappear or don’t make the proverbial cut, I think Ryn has as good a chance as anyone to breakout and make it. If you wanna keep track of her you can follow her on Twitter or soundcloud. Show your love.

Max